Reuters is reporting that Huawei has received a 90-day license extension from the Trump administration today, allowing U.S. companies to continue doing business with the telecom equipment provider.
After being blacklisted by the Trump administration in May, Huawei has been granted extensions that have allowed it to continue doing business with American companies. The move is especially important to rural networks, as many of them depend on Huawei equipment to operate.
“There are enough problems with telephone service in the rural communities – we don’t want to knock them out. So, one of the main purposes of the temporary general licenses is to let those rural guys continue to operate,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Fox Business Network.
The U.S. has long maintained that Huawei’s ties to the Chinese government make it a threat to national security. All Chinese companies can be impressed into service, assisting the Chinese government in intelligence gathering. Huawei, however, seems to have much closer ties to the government than many other companies. The U.S., and its allies, believe Huawei’s equipment has backdoors that are being used to assist the Chinese government. The company has also faced multiple allegations of intellectual property theft.
In spite of its reputation, there’s no denying that Huawei is the world leader in 5G telecom equipment. Network operators around the world have warned governments that banning Huawei would result in years of delay and billions in additional cost to 5G rollouts.
Today’s extension for Huawei is another reminder just how hard it will be to completely replace the company.